Arjun the wise
There was a poor man and woman in a village. A son was born to them. On his chest there was a big brown mole. They took him to the village priest and asked him, “Sir, will this bring bad luck to this boy.’” The priest read all the books he had and told them, “Do not be afraid. This boy, when he becomes 20, will marry the princess and become our king.” The poor man and woman did not believe the priest but named the child as “Arjun.”. The news of what the priest told some how reached the king. The king dressed himself as a rich merchant and came to the house of the poor man and woman. He told them, “I heard that this baby is going to be the king. You will not be able to bring him up properly. You give him to me. I will give you lot of money and also bring up Arjun properly.” Though the poor man and woman loved Arjun, they agreed thinking; it is for the good of Arjun. The king put Arjun in a box, closed it and threw the box in the river. He thought Arjun would die. But the box floated and reached another shore. The village chief, Bhim who was a rich man, picked it up. Bhim did not have any children. So he took Arjun home and brought him in a very proper way. Arjun became 20 and his birthday was celebrated in a grand manner. On this birthday, the king happened to visit this village and the chief invited him to his house. When the king visited Arjun was just dressing up and the king saw the big brown mole on his chest.
He enquired with Bhim, “Who is this boy who is looking so smart? Is he really your son?” Bhim replied, “No sir, twenty years back, I found him floating in the river.” The king immediately recognized Arjun. So he told Bhim, “I have a very urgent letter to be sent to the queen. Will you send it through Arjun?” Bhim agreed. The king wrote a letter as follows.” “Dear Queen, As soon as this boy brings this letter kill him. Do not wait for me. King.”
Arjun took the letter along with him and started his journey to the palace of the king. When it became night, he reached in a dark forest. There was a big house in the forest. He went in. There was an old woman sitting there. He asked her, “Aunty, Can I stay here for the night?” The old woman said, “This is the house of the three robbers. If they do you any harm, what can I do? “ Arjun was very tired and immediately slept in spite of the warning. The robbers came at mid night an asked the old woman, “Who is this boy”.
Then the old woman replied, “He has been sent by the king with a message to the queen. He missed his way and came here.” Then the robbers took the letter to the queen from Arjun and read it. They felt sorry for Arjun and wanted to help him. So they tore off the letter that the king wrote and wrote another letter as follows, “Dear Queen, As soon as this boy arrives in the palace, give our daughter, in marriage to him. You need not wait for me. King,”
Arjun got up in the morning and the robbers showed him the correct way. As soon as the Arjun reached the palace he gave the letter to the queen. She read it and immediately arranged for the marriage of the princess with Arjun. This was celebrated in a very grand way. When the king came back after a week, he was shocked to know that Arjun has married his daughter. He asked the queen to show the letter. Then he asked Arjun, whether he stayed in any place while coming to the palace. Arjun told him the whole story.
Since the king now knew that Arjun would become the king, he called Arjun and told him, “I am so happy you married my daughter. But there is a problem. You have to go to the Golden Rakshasa’s place and get three of his hairs. This is a custom in our family.” Arjun readily agreed and started his travel to the house of Golden Rakshasa.
On his way, he went to a village where all the people where sad because their only well was dry. They asked Arjun,”Who are you and what do you know?” Arjun replied, “I am Arjun and I know everything.” Then the villagers wanted to know from Arjun, how to get water from their dried up well. Arjun told them, “I am now going on a pilgrimage. While I am coming back, I will tell you the reason.” After travelling one more day, he reached a village with lot of mango trees. But none of the mango trees where giving any fruit .All the villagers were sad. They asked Arjun,”Who are you and what do you know?” Arjun replied, “I am Arjun and I know everything.” Then the villagers wanted to know from Arjun, how to make their mango trees bear fruit. .Arjun told them, “I am now going on a pilgrimage. While I am coming back, I will tell you the reason.”
After further travel, Arjun had to cross a river to reach the house of Golden Rakshasa. There was one boat and a very sad boatman. He asked Arjun,”Who are you and what do you know?” Arjun replied, “I am Arjun and I know everything.” He wanted to know from Arjun, how to get rid of his boring job which did not give him any income. Arjun told them, “I am now going on a pilgrimage. While I am coming back, I will tell you the reason.”
Arjun walked some more days and reached the house of the Golden Rakshasa. When he went to his house fortunately for him, the Golden Rakshasa was not there and only his grandma was there. She liked Arjun and asked him, why he has come that far. Arjun replied, “Grandma, I want to get three golden hairs from the golden Rakshasa and also know why there is no water in the village well, why the mango tree is not yielding and why the boatman is not able leave his job.”Grandma promised to help him and made him in to an ant and hid him in her sari. After some time the olden Rakshasa who liked his Grandma came back. After he took his food he started sleeping with his head kept on the lap of his grandma. After an hour the grandma pulled one hair from the Golden Rakshasa, He suddenly woke up, “What is the matter grandma?” he asked. Grandma replied, “I saw a dream in which the villagres were crying because there is no water in their well.” The golden Rakshasa laughed and told, “They are idiots. There is a frog buried in their well. If they remove it they will get plenty of water.” Saying this he again started sleeping. After one more hour the grandma pulled one more hair. Again the golden Rakshasa woke up, and asked, “Hey grand ma, what is the problem with you? Then she replied, “I saw a still worse dream. There was a big mango orchard in a village but no tree was giving any fruit and all the poor villagers are crying.” Then the Golden Rakshasa replied, ‘they are also fools. There is a statue of Rama buried in the mango orchard. All they have to do is to take it out and build a temple. “He again started sleeping. After some more time the grandma pulled one more hair, .This time the golden Rakshasa woke up very angry. He shouted at his grandma, “I like you very much but you are troubling me a lot. Did you see one more dream? ”The grandma replies, “Yes. This time I saw a poor old boatman crying. He is not able to leave his job and go to his home.” The golden Rakshasa replied, “The boatman can leave his job any time. Only he has to hand over the oars to a passenger and jump out of the boat.”
Next day the grand ma of Golden Rakshasa handed over the three golden hairs to Arjun and wished him best of luck.
On his way back, he first saw the boatman. After crossing the river he told the boatman, You can easily leave this place, What all you have to do is to hand over the oar to a passenger and jump out of the boat.” The boatman became very happy and gave Arjun a small bag of gold. With this he reached the village of the mango garden. There he told them, “There is a statue of Rama buried in the mango orchard. All you have to do is to take it out and build a temple. Then your mango trees would yield mangos.” They were very happy and gave him a very big bag full of gold. Then he reached the village, where the well did not have water. He told them, “There is a frog buried in your well. If you remove it, you will get plenty of water.” They immediately did it and got lot of water. They were so happy that they gave him a cart full of gold.
Arjun reached the king’s place and gave him the three golden hairs. He also showed him how much gold he has earned. Though the king was rich, he also wanted to earn some more gold. He asked Arjun, “How did you get all this gold?” Arjun replied him; “On the way to the Golden Rakshasa’s place there is a river. There is a boatman there. He gave all this gold to me.” King started immediately to meet the boatman. As soon as he got in to the boat, the boatman handed over the oars and jumped out of the boat and ran away. All his life, the king was a boatman. Since he did not return, Arjun was made the king.